Join our volunteer guides on an introductory tour and discover some highlights of the collection.

Free Daily Guided Tours

Our free public guided tours are for adult individuals and small groups (up to six people only). Spaces are limited and are available on a first come first served basis.  It is not possible to reserve places in advance.

If you are visiting as part of a larger group please refer to our group booked tours below.

Discover the National Museum

Times: 11:00 (1 hr)
Cost: Free

Take an introductory tour around the National Museum of Scotland and discover the stories about selected objects. 

Meet your guide at the Tour Meeting Point, Entrance Hall, Level 0.

Scotland Galleries Highlights Tour

Times: 13:00 (1 hr)
Cost: Free

Join one of our daily guided tours and discover some of the highlights in the Scotland galleries. 

Meet your guide at the Tour Meeting Point, Entrance Hall, Level 0.

Themed Tour

Times: 15:00 (1 hr)
Cost: Free

Join us for our exciting programme of tours with a different theme each day. See our September tour themes.

Meet your guide at the Tour Meeting Point, Entrance Hall, Level 0.

Themed Tour Descriptions

Choose from a wide range of themes, featuring different aspects of our collection with diverse objects and stories across our collections in Scottish History and Archaeology, Science and Technology, Art and Design, Natural Science and World Cultures. Find out more about our tour themes here.

Private Booked Tours for Groups and Scheduled Tours

Our tours are also available as private, booked tours for individuals and groups.  Numbers are limited to 30 (Discover the National Museum and Scotland Galleries Highlights tours) and 15 (themed tours).

The cost of a private, booked tour is £5.00 per person (we make a minimum charge of £50.00 per guided group).

Tours are subject to guide availability and a minimum of 3 weeks’ notice is requested. Please contact for further information and tour request form.

Mercat Tours

Tours of the National Museum of Scotland are also available with our partners, Mercat Tours.

To book or discuss your requirements, please contact Mercat Tours directly by calling +44 (0) 131 225 5445 or by emailing

Audio Described Tours for Blind and Visually Impaired Visitors

To find out about our ticketed, audio described tours of special exhibitions, click here.

Free, audio described guided tours are also available by request and subject to availability. This is an audio description of our Discover the National Museum Tour and it is delivered by our Learning staff or Volunteer Guides. To find out more and book please call  0131 247 4041 or email

BSL Interpreted Tours

Free British Sign Language interpreted tours are available by request. To arrange please email or call 0131 247 4041, giving at least three weeks’ notice.

Hearing Helpers

All of our tours offer the use of the Hearing Helper Tour Guide system. These help visitors with hearing difficulties overcome background noise and distance from the guide. They can be used with hearing aids. This can be asked for on the day but if you have any queries, please email or call 0131 247 4041.

Explore more

Tour themes

Join us for our exciting programme of guided tours. Each of our themed tours are developed by our volunteer guides, featuring objects and stories across our collections.

Meet our volunteer guides

Our guided tours are run by a number of enthusiastic and experienced volunteer guides. We introduce a selection of our guides below.

There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge. Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted. You can find more access information here.

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